Can progressives be fundamentalists?

fundamentalism-progressivism

If you define a fundamentalist as someone believing that the Bible is the inerrant word of God and that the earth has been created 6000 years ago, no.

If, however, you define fundamentalism broadly as a confident adherence to one’s dogma regardless of the evidence at hand, black-and-white thinking, an in-group versus  out-groups attitude and an arrogance that leads you to view all outsiders as either ignorant, stupid or evil…then I think we can answer that question with a resounding “yes”.

A case in point follows.

 

Recently, what seemed to be a terrorist attack in Canada turned out to be the deed of a murderous autistic man driven by his sexual frustration.

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The progressive website posted an article entitled “Toxic Masculinity Is at the Heart of This Darkness“.

In it, you can read an interesting (although biased) analysis:

“Toxic Masculinity Is at the Heart of This Darkness”.

 

Why did Alek Minassian allegedly climb into a van on Monday and kill ten people in Toronto? It goes without saying that each and every crime like this is determined by a number of factors. The one silver lining in all of this is that since the alleged killer was arrested, we may have the opportunity to understand what led to Monday’s horrific events.

In the interim, all we have so far is reports that it appears Minassian is a high-functioning autistic man who made a Facebook post in the minutes before the killing invoking misogynist murderer Elliot Rodger and announcing the inauguration of the “incel rebellion.”

For those uninitiated into the heart of darkness called Extremely Online, incels or “involuntary celibates” are a group of sad men so upset at their lack of sexual activity that they fantasize about raping, murdering, and otherwise brutalizing all women as a kind of guerrilla anti-feminist warfare. They first came to media prominence in 2014 after Rodger killed six people in California in 2014 and issued a 100+ page “manifesto” where he crudely turned his personal history of social and sexual frustration into a political crusade against all sex-havers.

 

 

“Western hedonism is at the heart of this darkness”

 

This prompted me to post what follows:

Yes, the deed was driven by a hate of women but we need to dig deeper than that. What are the causes of the extreme misogyny of “involuntary celibates” (an awful phrase I just discovered by the way)?
It is certainly complex but I think that one major factor might be VIRGIN-SHAMING and the capitalistic sex-industry that glorifies the idea that the value of a man is determined by the number of women he manages to seduce.
And that, in turn, drives many mentally unstable or otherwise handicapped men to despair and gravely compounds their mental health condition.
So NEO-LIBERAL sex-positive feminists should recognise they are part of the problem and not part of the solution.

My own title?
“Western hedonism is at the heart of this darkness”

neo-liberal-porn

The post-factualism of triggered progressives

This has led to a flurry of reactions that were neither particularly constructive nor rational.

 

First of all, J. F. shot from the hip:
“Women being part of the problem that these idiots think sex is owed to them. Wow. Get the fuck out!”

I was puzzled by that. Where on earth did I say that women are part of the problem?

I said that neo-liberal sex-positive feminists (i.e. adherents of that ideology who can be both male and female) contribute to this problem by fostering a climate where the worth of a man is defined by how often he can “get laid” and where unsuccessful males are regularly mocked and ridiculed by their peers.
I might be wrong about that but my position is clearly entirely different from the ignoble thing I’m accused of saying.

 

Another (somewhat more polite) commentator wrote this:
Hugh Hefner is not the reason these men have a problem. For Fuck’s Sake! Nor is any woman who chooses to make money from sex, or her body.

As a mantra, that sounds great. But progressives are supposed to look beyond that and to carefully consider the available evidence before making such statements.
So, is it really true that the pornofication of our society doesn’t contribute by any means to the objectification of women?

I think there is one hell of a difference between growing up in the belief that romantic love should be pursued and growing up in the belief that having hedonistic pleasure trough sex is all that matters in life.

I would like to see empirical studies showing this has no influence on the way young men see members of the opposite gender.

loving-relationships
Could it be that viewing relationships in this way may reduce toxic masculinity?

 

On another level, I find it disheartening to see self-proclaimed progressives passionately and uncritically defend a man such as Hefner while ignoring his dark sides.

 

Finally, I’d like to go into the comment of D. J., as it is so typical of the way outraged progressives stifle any reasonable conversation:

It’s quite apparent you’re speaking from your own experience, having the privilege of being a white assumed (cis) male. In a progressive space trying to mansplain what is a feminist to justify toxic masculinity.”

So this man knows very little about me but he believes that my skin colour and gender are sufficient to attribute complex psychological motives to me (and to accuse me of justifying the mass slaughtering of innocent women!). That, folks, is the very essence of racism.

white-privileges

But more fundamentally, this totally misses the point. I can be a terribly flawed human being but that does not in any way, shape or form invalidate my ideas which stand on their own merit. While reacting to opinions they dislike, progressives constantly commit the genetic fallacy and the ad-hominem fallacy instead of challenging them with reasonable arguments.

Conclusion

I did not primarily write this blog post to argue for the truth of my position regarding the link between such hardcore misogyny and neo-liberal hedonism.
I might be wrong about that and I wholly recognise it.
I rather want to illustrate how it is not possible to have a reasonable and mutually respectful conversation with “progressives” on a controversial topic based on facts and a careful reasoning.

Apparently, just holding such an unorthodox position automatically makes you a despicable bigot.

I think it is truly a pity. To people thinking outside the box, progressivism can be as harmful and unwelcoming as conservatism.

This, in turn, contributes to the polarisation of society and the culture war where people talk (or rather shout) past to each other instead of seeking a common ground and having a rational debate where the opponent’s views are fairly represented.

While I have a lot of things in common with progressives (such as the fight against anti-Muslim bigotry, the combat against global warming, standing for gay rights and against the oppression of the poor, an interpretation of religious texts that respects Reason…) I find myself unable to keep discussing with them as I constantly have to stay silent about my sincerely held views in order to avoid on-line bullying.

I did not take any pleasure in writing this post. But I thought this had to be told in the hope that other people will be able to move things forward.

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Is a call for decent clothing sexist?

In France, a new controversy regarding the so-called “slut shaming” has just broken out.
French MP Aurore Bergé dressed very sexily during a TV show and she now complains about people who focused more on her appearance than on the content of her statements.
Many view this as a blatant example of sexism.

Aurore_Bergé_sexy
I personally don’t believe this necessarily has to be sexist.

Sexism means that you unfairly treat both genders differently.

But consider now the principle of decency during a political discussion (PMP):

During any political discussion, a person ought not to dress in a sexually arousing way if he or she wants to be taken seriously“.

This principle makes no mention of gender. It is valid for men, women, heterosexuals, and homosexuals alike.

Its truth seems very plausible to me. Human beings are much more driven by their feelings and instincts than by reason and rationality.

Since a good political discussion or speech should be focused on facts and reasoning, it is certainly unwise to dress in a way that would arouse members of the opposite sex. And if you do so, you shouldn’t complain about people commenting on your physical appearance.

Consider now the American Republican politician Aaron Schock.

Imagine he dressed like this during a meeting.

Paul-ryan-sexy

I think that very few people would have objections if he wasn’t taken seriously.
So why should sexily dressed female politicians be treated any differently?
I am not saying that dogmatically and I am willing to change my mind if you give me valid arguments.

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Gender equality and the liberal agenda

While I am oftentimes critical of Conservatism on my blog, I do believe that Liberal lobbies can have quite a harmful effect on society too.

One example is their willful ignorance of the reality of anti-white racism which leads them to systematically explain away crimes and misdeeds against white people committed on the grounds of their skin color, in a way strikingly akin to the strategy used by revisionist historians.

One other example is that they keep confusing fostering true equality between the genders with promoting female supremacy.

 

The following story should be considered a case study.

 

“Italian theater director Antonio Calenda sues beautiful young dancer Natasha Diamond-Walker after she dumped him, claiming she hoodwinked him into buying her a luxury condo

Diamond-Walker, an up-and-coming performer with the Martha Graham Dance Company, did not return calls. But court papers paint her as a gold-digger who used her age and beauty to outwit Calenda, the well-known director of Teatro Stabile in Trieste.

 

Myspace.com Natasha Diamond-Walker, in a photo from her Myspace page.
A young Manhattan dancer hoodwinked her 73-year-old lover into buying her a luxury $775,000 Upper West Side condo — and then swiftly gave him the boot, a new lawsuit charges.Natasha Diamond-Walker, a stunning 27-year-old Fordham University grad, is accused in court papers of feigning love for prominent Italian theater director Antonio Calenda, then tricking him into footing the bill for the pre-war apartment.“She manipulated our client and took advantage of him to finance her purchase of a luxury Manhattan apartment,” said Calenda’s lawyer, Marc Fitapelli. “She never had any intentions to repay our client and she abruptly severed their relationship as soon as she got what she wanted.”Diamond-Walker, an up-and-coming performer with the Martha Graham Dance Company, did not return calls. But court papers paint her as a gold-digger who used her age and beauty to outwit Calenda, the well-known director of Teatro Stabile in Trieste. 

Antonio Calenda, center and Natasha Diamond-Walker, right.

Calenda, who directed the 1973 film “One Russian Summer,” starring Claudia Cardinale and Oliver Reed, filed suit Monday in Manhattan Supreme Court in a bid to recoup the cost of the condo — plus $1 million.

Diamond-Walker met Calenda last year in Italy when they worked together on “Cercando Picasso (Looking for Picasso),” colleagues said. She was working as a dance apprentice with the Martha Graham company, which collaborated with Calenda on the show that features dancers interpreting Pablo Picasso’s dreams, inspirations and writings.

They began a 10-month romance, and Calenda showered her with expensive gifts, especially at the start of their May-December affair.

LaRue Allen, executive director of the Martha Graham company, described Diamond-Walker as “outgoing, vivacious, curious” — “a wonderful dancer at the beginning of her career.”

She said the relationship was not a company matter.

“They had a personal relationship … They’re both adults,” Allen said. “Things don’t always have a way of working out.”

Calenda, who lives in Rome and has been separated from his wife for a decade, does not dispute he gave her pricey gifts at the start of their affair.

But he insists the 795-square-foot, one-bedroom unit on West End Avenue wasn’t one of them.

When Diamond-Walker asked Calenda for help purchasing the condo, the director insisted on two things, Fitapelli said: that the money be a loan, and that they have a written agreement.

They signed the agreement last July, and she closed on the condo in September.

“Several months” later she “suddenly severed” the relationship, court papers show.

Diamond-Walker repeatedly told Calenda that she considered the $775,000 a gift and “would never repay” him, according to the lawsuit.

Their written agreement requires no payments until December 2018, when the entire amount is due. As a gift, Calenda charged no interest — a nicety he has since withdrawn.

Calenda is now asking the courts to declare the loan a mortgage, or order Diamond-Walker to repay the entire amount immediately with interest — roughly $800,000.

He’s also seeking $1 million in punitive damages, Fitapelli said.

As a new member of the Martha Graham Dance Company, Diamond-Walker was expected to perform Monday night at the International Dance Festival in Vail, Colo. Her lawyer, Eric Cohen, did not return a call.

As recently as spring, she wrote of the experience she was gaining while working in Italy with Calenda — this time on a musical/dance production of The Bacchae by Euripides, which drew 8,000 people a night.

“I have tasted the most fragrant blood oranges, eaten the freshest fruits of the sea. Yet still, at night I’m painted with cold white mud, naked in front of the theater for work,” the 2007 Fordham grad wrote. “Knowledge and experience is earned in every way.”

Some comments were invaluable.

 

“A 27yr old chick is even too young for me, and i’m 39! I do not feel sorry for this guy…he is a confirmed fool if he thinks for a second that a 27yr. old ‘stunner’ would be physically attracted to him, and not have ulterior motives. This dingbat allowed himself to be gypped by this plain jane loser, she didn’t put a gun to his empty skull and made him sign anything. Damn, that viagra makes you do some crazya– sheet. Use the head on your shoulders the next time ol’timer. LOL!”

“When will these old farts learn no younger woman wakes up one day and says I want to get with a old wormy geiser because they are so hot. When you see a younger woman with a older man it’s all about the money, at least older women know they are being used, for some strange reason old guys think they are still sexy and these woman really want to be with them NOT. If you are 73 and she is 27 she want’s your money so don’t act surprised with you get duped. Idiot!”

 

Now don’t get me wrong. I consider it very likely that the old man acted in an immoral way. Yet you have to ask yourself whose actions were the most egregious.

As someone wrote : “What if the genders were reversed, would anyone be willing to believe the money in question was simply a gift as well?”

True equality between men and women that their well-being and suffering are equally important and concerning.

The behavior and typical assertions of Western liberals show that they constantly use a double-standard.

 

This is well illustrated by the attitude of liberal society towards females dressing sexy for getting ahead or manipulating men more easily. This is largely seen as “empowering” and if such a girl is gently complimented by a guy she dislikes, she is entirely justified in downrightly calling this sexual harassment.

This clearly spurns the Golden Rule. A nice and lovely girl wearing a mini-skirt because she likes being looked at won’t reply harshly to a man she is not interested in who respectfully and kindly asked her out.

 

And if a hardcore feminist wants to call me a “Christian Taliban” because of this, then I shall willingly and gladly accept that label.

 

Complementarianism, egalitarianism and the differences between men and women

There is a huge debate raging in the Evangelical community about the place and role of women.

Egalitarians believe that men and women are not only equal but dispose of the same abilities in every respect.

Complementarians believe that men and women are equal but different with respect to their skills and roles.

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I don’t share the belief in Biblical inerrancy of both camps and don’t base my thinking on culturally conditioned statements one can find in Scripture.

Nevertheless I am a complementarian.

Since this might shock many people, I reproduced a great post of Mike Patton explaining this:

The most common understanding of both Complementarianism and Egalitarianism goes something like this:

Complementarians: Do not let women be pastors over men.

Egalitarians: Do let women be pastors over men.

or…

Complementarians: The husband is the leader of the family.

Egalitarians: The husband and wife co-lead the family, with no priority.

or…

Complementarians: Wives submit to your husbands.

Egalitarians: Husbands and wives are to practice mutual submission.

While I think that these are characteristics of both groups, they are not foundational characteristics that define each group. In other words, I don’t think that they are helpful in defining what it means to be a complementarian or egalitarian and they serve to cause a great deal of misunderstanding that leads to emotional bias that is very difficult to overcome once set.

In fact, I am going to say something very radical here and then explain. Here it goes:

It is possible to be a complementarian and believe that a women can serve in the position of head pastor over men.

Did you get that? Reread it. Reread it again…

Complementarianism is not first defined by it view of the roles of men and women in the church, family, or society.

Here is what Complementarianism is:

Complementarianism is the belief that men and women have God given differences that are essential to their person. Men and women are ontologically (in their essential nature) equal, but often, functionally, take subordinate roles (like the Trinity). These differences complete or “complement” each other. Due to these differences, there will be some things that women are predisposed and purposed to do more than men. As well, there will be some things that men are predisposed and purposed to do more than women. Therefore, there are ideal roles for both men and women that should be celebrated, exemplified, typified, and promoted in the church, family, and society. To deny these differences is to deny the design of God and thwart his purpose.

Here is what Egalitarianism is:

The belief that God has created men and women equal in all things. Men and women are ontologically and functionally equal. The way the sexes function in the church, society, and the family is determined by individual giftedness, not role distinctions according to the sexes. Therefore, each person should be judged individually when being placed in a particular position. We should exemplify this reality by overcoming the stereotypical placement that has traditionally been a part of societies in human history, thereby giving freedom to individuals to follow the path that God has uniquely created them for, whatever that may be. In doing so, we should no longer educate or indoctrinate according to any of the former stereotypes, including those of basic masculinity and femininity.

These, in my opinion, are the foundational tenants of each position without giving examples on how this plays out in the family, the church, or society.

The case I am making here is that in order to be a consistent egalitarian, one must deny virtually all differences that typify men as men and women as women. It is not just about getting women behind the pulpit or the concept of mutual submission in the family. It is much more complex and, in my estimation, more difficult to defend with sensibility.

I had a professor at Dallas Theological Seminary who was an Egalitarian (he left because of this—I won’t mention his name). I loved this guy. Still do. Great teacher, thinker, and Christian. In fact, I had him come speak to our pastoral staff at Stonebriar to challenge us on why he became egalitarian and to defend his position. I wanted the staff to understand the “other side” from a very able defender. During his presentation, he painted himself into this very typical corner that I find most all egalitarians end up. 

He was advocating a foundational principle of egalitarianism: there are no essential differences between men and women other than reproductive stuff. We were all quite taken aback. Every example we brought up, he shot down by giving a counter-example in the form of an exception. His basic argument turned on finding exceptions to everything. Whether it was that men were less emotional, more aggressive, more one tracked in their thinking, less tender, more competitive, unable to nurture as well as women, or even liked the color blue more, he brought up exceptions that he believed neutralized the “pattern”. Finally, I thought I had him. I said “What about physicality? Men are stronger than women.” He would have none of that. He then brought up examples of German women who were stronger than men! We could not stump the guy!

The problem is that in order to defend egalitarianism consistently, he had to deny all of the common sense distinctions that people have made about men and women since the dawn of time. I won’t get into the science or psychology of this issue as there are many very good resources that do this. To me, it is rather bizarre that one would actually be inclined to produce evidence to prove that men and women are different!

I am of the opinion that many egalitarians would have been appalled by Peter who said that women are the weaker of the sexes (1 Pet. 3:7) siting every exception to this rule and bemoaning this stereotype until Peter cried “uncle.”

Complementarianism says that men and women are different by design. We are different and God did it. It is that simple.

However, most people would not be willing to go as far as my former professor. They realize that sustaining a proposition that men and women have no essential differences is a battle that cannot really be sustained in real life (only theoretical ideology). Men and women are different. Even most egalitarians that I know would give me this. Hear this again. Most egalitarians that I know would admit, when push comes to shove, that there are some essential differences between men and women. Most would even say that there are essential differences that go beyond reproduction and physicality. But I would argue that these people are not really egalitarians, at least in the way I have defined it. They would be complementarians because they would have given up what I believe to be a central driving tenant of egalitarianism and embraced the central tenant of complementarianism: men and women are different by design and their differences complement each other.

Now, having said this, I believe that it is theoretically possible to be a complementarian and yet not take a traditional complementarian stand on the issue of women in ministry. In other words, someone could believe that men and women are different by design yet not think that these differences have any bearing on women in leadership in the church. They may be convinced that the Bible does not really teach that women should not teach men, and yet be complementarian in other issues and, broadly, in their theology of the sexes.

I am interested and committed to complementarianism for more than just the women in ministry issue. This is just one application. But (and here is where I get in trouble with fellow complementarians), I don’t think that it is the most important issue in this debate. Neither do I think that it is the most “damaging” issue.

You see, when people are truly committed and consistent egalitarians, they have to defend their denial of essential differences. In doing so, they will advocate a education system in the home, church, and society which neutralizes any assumption of differences between the sexes. In doing so, men will not be trained to be “men” since there is really no such thing. Women will not be encouraged to be “women” since there is no such thing. The assumption of differences becomes a way to oppress society and marginalize, in their estimation, one sex for the benefit of the other. Once we neutralize these differences, we will have neutered society and the family due to a denial of God’s design in favor of some misguided attempt to promote a form of equality that is neither possible nor beneficial to either sex.

We will have troubled men and women groping to find their way and feeling pressured to repress their instincts and giftedness. We will no longer be able to train up men and women in the “way” they should go since there is no “way” they should go. Women can act masculine and men can be feminine. Men can retreat in the face of responsibility because, in truth, they don’t have any “responsibility” other than the one that they choose. This is to say nothing of the implications this has on the issues of homosexuality and gay marriage.

But in a complementarian worldview (even one that allows women to teach men in the church), men are taught to be men and women are taught to be women. They both have defining characteristics. Masculinity and femininity find their place and are exemplified and celebrated. Men protect women from physical danger and take their positions of leadership seriously, without trepidation or fear that they will be seen as power mongers. And women support this. Women take up their positions of nurturing and supporting the emotional well-being of the world. And men support it. No role distinction is seen as inferior because in a complementarian worldview both are seen as essential and of equal importance. Only in complementarianism do we not define the rule by the exceptions and bow to the least common denominator. Only in the complementarian worldview, in my opinion, can freedom to be who we are supposed to be find meaning.

The true spirit of complementarianism is that God has intentionally created men and women with differences and we are to celebrate this in every way. The true spirit of complementarianism is never domineering (that is a sinful corruption). The true spirit of complementarianism provides no shame only freedom. The true spirit of complementarianism speaks to God in appreciation.

When we attempt to neuter this design, we have lost much more than authority in the pulpit.

Complementarians, while I believe that the Bible teaches the ideal that women should not have authority over men in the church, let us promote the true spirit of complementarianism then simply defending its particular applications.

I believe that female preachers and pastors can be really great and are an enrichment for the Church. I do hope that the Church of Rom will allow them to become priests over the next decades.

https://lotharlorraine.files.wordpress.com/2014/01/35f8b-cwpix.jpg

However, I do believe that (statistically speaking) men and women are both psychologically and biologically different and that there are therefore some types of work which are (statistically speaking) more appropriate for females than for males and vice-versa.

I am convinced that if a man and a woman apply for the same position, there NEVER should be any discrimination.

However I believe that endeavors such as Gender Mainstreaming (aiming at erasing all differences between the sexes in society) are profoundly stupid and noxious.

https://i1.wp.com/www.wikimannia.org/images/GM-der-neue-Mensch.jpg

My position lies on empirical grounds and is shared by many French (and to a lesser extent German) secular people who are extremely skeptical of the gender ideology.